If the new Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4Matic sedan isn’t quite special enough, Mercedes-Benz latest announcement should thrill you; it’s releasing the Mercedes-Maybach “Edition 100” to commemorate Maybach’s 100th anniversary.
“It’s about the passionate combination of every detail, no matter how small, that makes a luxury car a Maybach — all in combination with state-of-the-art technology from Mercedes-Benz,” said Philipp Schiemer, head of Top End Vehicle Group Mercedes-Benz AG and CEO Mercedes-AMG GmbH, in a statement.
A Mercedes-Maybach S-Class for the precious few
Limited to 100 vehicles worldwide, the Mercedes-Maybach Edition 100 will be available stateside in the first half of 2022. Sure, it will boast the expected Maybach touches, including its distinctive grille. But the stylists at Mercedes-Benz have gone a step further, hand painting each S-Class in a in two-tone Cirrus Silver/Nautical Blue offset by a Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl leather-lined cabin.
Reminiscent of a 1974 Lincoln Town Car, this Maybach will wear the brand’s double-M logo and “Edition 100” on its C-Pillar and the hubcaps. You’ll also find it throughout the interior, embossed on storage compartments and various illuminated panels. Entertainment is provided by a Burmester 4D surround sound system, while heated, massaging seats keep everyone comfy. Certainly there’s enough room to stretch out; the Edition 100’s wheelbase is seven inches longer the long-wheelbase S-Class.
The Edition 100’s powertrain is the same one used in the Mercedes-Maybach S 680: a 6.0-liter biturbo V-12 hand-built by a single technician. It’s rated at 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque and matched to a 9-speed automatic transmission that funnels its power to all four wheels for the first time.
Accessories add the finishing touch
Having offered fitted luggage for the first SL, Mercedes-Benz has long realized that luxury buyers covet accessorizing their luxury rides. For the new Mercedes-Maybach Edition 100, there’s a car cover with a Maybach logo, and a leather file case for storing papers or keys.
“We see ourselves as a creator brand,” said Philipp Schiemer. “Every vehicle has always been configured and manufactured with veritable artistic ambition.”
So Mercedes-Benz is going beyond its usual accessories, producing exclusive silver champagne flutes from Robbe & Berking featuring a Maybach “100 Years” logo. There are also matching water and drink glasses. But that’s just the start. A plethora of Maybach-themed items can be found online at Maybach Icons of Luxury, the brand’s licensing partner.
“We are driven by the goal of making the exclusive Maybach feeling tangible in as many areas of life as possible,” explains CEO Jutta Kahlbetzer.
Though you can get a t-shirt or some other plebeian item, nothing captures the essence of a limited-edition car like a limited-edition fountain pen. In this case, it’s serial numbered and features an 18-carat gold nib with a clip set with 100 diamonds. Offered in either black or white, the cap’s tip is made of mother-of-pearl, and the body is lacquered in the Edition 100’s blue metallic color.
Maybach’s storied past
Maybach started with Wilhelm Maybach, an associate of Gottleib Daimler, and the man who engineered the first Mercedes in 1901 for Daimler-Motoren Gesellschaft. Six years later, Maybach left Daimler to join his son, Karl, in building engines for Zeppelin airships. With aircraft manufacturing banned after the war, father and son returned to tinkering with cars.
By 1921, they were producing their first model, the W3. Powered by a 70-horsepower 6-cylinder engine, it was the first German production car with four-wheel brakes. The W3 was joined by others, the most notable arriving in 1930: the DS 7, also known as the Maybach Zeppelin. Powered by a 150-hp V-12 engine, and offered as a sedan, touring car or cabriolet, it was supplanted by the 200-hp DS 8 the following year. The company sold 66 copies. Being custom built, Maybachs were always rare and expensive. An Indian maharajah is known to have had his Maybach limousine adorned with gold and rubies.
By the time the DS 42 appeared in 1941, Maybach production was ending after a run of 1,800 cars. World War II found the company building tank and assault boat engines. Postwar, the company manufactured diesel maritime engines. Wilhelm died in 1929 while Karl passed away in 1960.
Daimler steps in
In 1960, Daimler-Benz AG took over Maybach Motorenbau GmbH, but it sat, almost quietly. But the brand was revived in 2002 in an effort to battle against Rolls-Royce, now owned by BMW, and Bentley, now owned by Volkswagen. Available as the Model 57 and the long-wheelbase Model 62, these Maybachs were every bit as indulgent as their predecessors. But the cars failed to find the 2,000 buyers annually Daimler expected. After selling 164 in the U.S. in 2006, Maybach closed 29 of its 71 dealers.
As sales faltered, the cars got grander, including a Landaulet — a long-dead body style — and the return of the Zeppelin. It did little to stoke interest that had been snuffed out by the financial crisis and its aftermath. The last Maybach was made in 2012. Seven years later, the Maybach name would reappear. No longer a separate brand, it now symbolizes the top trim level in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.